Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Night Owl and the Insomniac (Shifter U #3) by j. leigh bailey

Welcome j. leigh bailey who's here today promoting the latest in the Shifter U series! Find out more about this paranormal romance from Dreamspinner Press, read an excerpt and be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for an ebook from the author! Good luck!

POST—Sneak Peek at Shifter U #4!
I’d like to start with a big “Thank you!” to Boy Meets Boy Reviews  for having me here today to celebrate the release of The Night Owl and the Insomniac, the third  book in my Shifter U paranormal series.  
Throughout the series, Buddy’s Café has played a prominent role. In Stalking Buffalo Bill, Donnie works, then manages, the café where he and William meet for the first time. In Chasing Thunderbird, Ford works at the café, and it is a meeting spot—and setting for the beginning of the action scenes in the book. In The Night Owl and the Insomniac, the café is where Yusuf and Owen meet David to start investigating the whys and hows of Yusuf being a shifter. So, yeah, Buddy’s Café has been there. In the background, of course, is Buddy’s Café’s owner, grizzly bear shifter Buddy Brady. 
In Chasing Thunderbird, we meet David Sherman, a fox shifter reporter whose need to make his mark in journalism manages to share information about Simon’s family that the cryptozoologist would rather keep hidden. Then, in The Night Owl and the Insomniac, David’s nosiness is a tool Owen and Yusuf need to help Yusuf find out how, exactly, he suddenly turns into an Asiatic lion of all things.
In Night Owl, we also get to meet Buddy Brady in person. The bear shifter, and yoga aficionado, is the only local shifter big enough to keep a lion shifter in line while said lion learns to control his wilder half. 
Yes, the added importance of David and Buddy in The Night Owl and the Insomniac was a deliberate choice—the next book in the Shifter U series (which is still in progress!) will pair the wily fox shifter reporter with the grumpy, yoga-doing grizzly bear shifter on a road trip adventure. 
It’s a little rough, but here’s an exclusive (unedited) sneak peek from Fox Hunt, the next book in the Shifter U series. Enjoy!
A Shifter U Tale
Long nights lead to intrigue… and infatuation. 
Chronically ill with a mysterious condition, Yusuf “Joey” Franke escapes his smothering family and doctors by moving halfway across the country to enroll in Cody College. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. Joey spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out with gregarious and affable Owen, who works the night shift.
When he suddenly shifts from a sick college kid to a massive Asiatic lion, Joey discovers another side to Cody College—it’s a haven for shifters like himself… and like Owen, a part-time great horned owl. And being a shifter is hereditary, which means his parents have some explaining to do.
When Joey and Owen investigate, they discover more than they bargained for—a family deception, a dangerous enemy with international connections, and a love that might be too new to survive the backlash.
Holding my breath, I eased the front door open, pausing to make sure I hadn’t disturbed anyone in the household. I’d tried to time my escape to avoid running into any of my mother’s guards. Most of the enforcers on duty would ignore an approved guest or family member’s departure—they were there to keep others out not in, after all—but there were a few who’d likely been briefed on the plans. Besides, they had no grounds to detain me. Mom was in charge, sure, but unless I’d done something to warrant arrest, I couldn’t really be held against my will.
I hefted the first of my two suitcases and set it gently on the front porch before reaching for the next. Then I reached for the matching duffle back and looped the strap around my neck so my hands would be free to carry the rest of my luggage. It took me a ridiculously long time to make my way down the porch and around the side of the garage to where my car was parked.
A large figure loomed in the dark, silhouetted in the waning moonlight.
I squeaked, dropping my suitcases. The resulting thuds seemed to echo unnaturally in the pre-dawn silence.
I squeezed my eyes shut. Damn it all to hell…
Buddy Brady was impressive. Easily six and a half feet tall, shoulders wide enough to suit two men, and bulky muscles that were softened only a little by a thin layer of fat that was common to bear shifters. I knew as the weather grew colder, that layer of fat would thicken. Bear shifters didn’t hibernate like their wilder brethren, but their metabolism slowed drastically and they tended to hole themselves up in the winter. He practically dwarfed my red and white MINI Cooper. I was half afraid that if he even propped his hip against the passenger door, my car would crumple under the sheer weight of him.
He wasn’t leaning against my baby, thankfully. Instead, he stood by the truck, a boring black duffle bag at his feet, his hands tucked into the pockets of khaki cargo shorts that had probably never been introduced to an iron. A baggy Buddy’s Café T-shirt and brown leather flip-flops completed the rumpled look. Even his hair was a shaggy mess, and dark stubble shadowed his cheeks and jaw. Actually, he looked like he’d just rolled out of bed and grabbed a couple things from his hamper before heading over here.
Given the sun was barely a pink glow that hadn’t yet crested the Rocky Mountains, chances were good that he had just rolled out of bed. Thick brown brows rose and he pulled a hand free from his pocket to glance at his watch. He wasn’t checking the time, not really. His wry look was more a commentary on the fact that we were supposed to leave at six, and here it was, not even five a.m.
“What are you doing here?” I demanded, tipping my wheeled suitcases to stand upright. I shrugged, dropping the matching duffle bag to the driveway.
“Waiting for you,” he said in a quiet bass that added an edge of velvet to his matter-of-fact tone.
“But you’re early.”
He snorted. “So’re you.”
Well, yeah, that was kind of the point. I’d had trouble falling asleep, and the more time I had to think, the more convinced I became that my mom and Darren were overreacting. The chances of the Moreau Initiative gunning for me were slim. I mean, maybe, if our luck ended up being bad, they might put in the effort to send someone to check out Mom’s place, but from the outside, the property looked like someone’s hobby ranch; there was nothing to indicate this was the home of one of the country’s most influential shifters. Even if they somehow got onto the ranch the security team would send them on their way. So, really, there was no need to foist a bodyguard on me. Which meant the only reason Mom had brought Buddy into this was that she didn’t trust me.
Even I recognized the contradiction. Sneaking out of the house, something that was distinctly untrustworthy, was maybe not the best way to prove my trustworthiness.
I sighed, dragging my bags a little closer, less concerned than I’d been about the noise. The jig, as they say, was up. “How’d you know?”
He shrugged one massive shoulder. “Just a hunch.”
“You know this isn’t necessary, right?” I reached into my pocket to click the key fob, releasing the back hatch.
“Got nothing better to do.”
I looked up at him. Damn, but he was big. I was pretty tall—exactly six feet—but next to Buddy, I felt positively petit. I had a second to wonder if my MINI, which was, by design, small, could accommodate his bulky body. It was perfectly comfortable for me with my admittedly slimmer frame, but he had half a foot of height, probably a hundred pounds, and double the body width on me. After what seemed like the longest ascent ever, the hatchback was finally open. Before I could reach down to heft my luggage into the storage area, Buddy had a suitcase gripped in each hand and tossed them into the space as if they weighed practically nothing.
“I can do it,” I said, snatching at the duffle bag and fitting it in the narrow space left after the larger pieces.
Warmth prickled along my back and an earthy scent surrounded me as Buddy leaned over me to tuck his own bag in the last of the space. I closed my eyes to better savor the pine tree and granite odor, cataloguing each nuanced layer. Then I remembered that this was Buddy and my mother had hired him to essentially babysit me. I straightened my back—and my resolve—and slammed the hatchback closed.
“We should work out the details of the trip before we get too far. Work out the rules.”
My recently straightened back stiffened further. “Excuse me? First of all, we don’t need to work out any details. I’ve already done so. Second of all, what the hell do you mean by rules? This is my trip. The only rules are the ones I make. You’re basically a shifter council-sanctioned, mother-approved stowaway. Hired muscle.”
The first golden rays of the sun peeked over the edge of the Rockies, illuminating Buddy’s stony face. Jaw clenched, eyes narrowed, lips pursed…my pulse skittered a bit at the anger I saw there. And then the expression morphed into something cooler, more neutral. Might have been a trick of the light, but I caught a hint of something bleaker, hint of vulnerability that seemed out of place on his face.
“Rules was maybe the wrong word.” His expression might have smoothed out, but his voice was tight. He cocked his head as though loosening stiff neck muscles. “But there are always things that it’s a good idea to work out in advance. Driving schedule, itinerary, route.”
“Driving schedule?” Horror washed over me. “No one drives my car but me.” Just the thought of this hulking brute behind the wheel of my baby made me want to encase the MINI in a protective shield. 
“Even professional drivers can only drive ten hours before a mandatory eight-hour break because marathon driving isn’t safe. Unless you intend to do the same?”
“It’ll be fine. It’s not like we’ll be driving non-stop. I have sleep stops planned each night. I’m not an idiot.” 
A tic in his cheek told me he didn’t appreciate my tone. And, sure, it wasn’t fair to take my irritation at my family out on Buddy. It wasn’t his fault that he got wrangled into this. But I didn’t ask him to join me, so I wasn’t responsible for making the trip comfortable. Besides, once it became obvious that I was perfectly safe, maybe his annoyance would convince him to abandon me. So I didn’t apologize, even if my conscience pushed for me to do so.
“Fine. I still need to review the itinerary.”
He walked around the car to the passenger side door. His movement were surprisingly graceful for such a large man. In the wild, bears tend to lumber along, a clumsy, awkward motion that only seemed to smooth out when they were charging. Given his size, I expected something similar. But no, his steps were light, flowing for maximum impact with minimum effort, reminding me more of a running back on the football field than the defensive lineman he more closely resembled.
I shook my head. I had places to go and people to see—no time to stop an analyze the way some guy—Buddy Brady, for crying out loud—moved.
I slid into the driver’s seat and pressed the start button. A second later, the MINI jolted as Buddy crammed himself in. I snorted out a laugh. The seat had been pushed pretty far forward because I’d needed the extra space in the backseat to help my old roommate move his things to his girlfriend’s apartment. I hadn’t moved the seat back afterward since I rarely had passengers, so it hadn’t mattered that there was no room. But now it mattered. Buddy’s knees were bent at a sharp angle and pressed into the glove compartment. The front of his thighs practically touched his stomach.
A low grumbled came from him at my snort of laughter.
Somehow he managed to twist further, reach around and under his bent legs, face practically smashed into his legs. He began to pat at the underside of his seat. And he managed all this without grunting or groaning at the effort. Looked awkward as hell, and he’d bent and twisted in ways I didn’t think I could, even with my narrower build.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
He sent me some kind of weird side-eye/eye-roll combination that told me just how stupid he thought the question was. “Looking for the lever to adjust the seat.”
“Oh! Um, it’s electric. There’s a little button long the side.” I point to his right side.
He unfolded himself as best he could and reached between the seat and the door, searching for the button. I tried not to notice the way his shorts crept up his thigh, revealing heavy muscles and pale skin. There was a distinct line where pale beige skin became rich honey, a testament to hours outside in shorts. There was nothing sexy about a tan line. Except in that moment, there kind of was.

So, just for fun (and for a chance to win), have you read any new shifter books that you really enjoyed? Ones I just have to check out? I’ll be giving away a digital copy of Stalking Buffalo Bill or Chasing Thunderbird to a random commenter! Giveaway will close on July 21. 

Author Bio
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She's a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter at

Social Media Links
Twitter @JenniWrites Facebook @JLeighBailey Instagram @j.leigh.bailey_author Website

Buy Links

1 comment:

  1. Hi, J. One of my favourites is an old one which is being re-released these days, Camwolf by JL Merrow. If you have not read it yet, you should
    congratulations on the book. It sounds really good